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Edinburg EDC: Edinburg’s unemployment rate improves to 5.5 percent for September 2017; 36,511 persons were employed in city that month

Featured: Dr. Marie Mora, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Professor of Economics at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, has been awarded a grant for $499,352 by the National Science Foundation to help fund the American Economic Association mentoring program. Mora, who has served as director of the program since 2013, said its goal is to help augment the number of minorities completing doctoral degrees in economics. The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Edinburg posted an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent in September 2017, representing 36,511 jobs for that month, and both figures are improvements over the previous month, when the unemployment rate in August 2017 was 6.2 percent, with 36,159 persons employed that month, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy. These latest figures, prepared by the Texas Workforce Commission and released on Friday, October 20, 2017, showed that there was an increase of 352 people employed in Edinburg in September 2017 compared with August 2017. Also, Edinburg saw a growth of 473 jobs when comparing the monthly total for September 2017, (36,511) and September 2016 (36,038), according to the Edinburg EDC.  In addition, the September 2017 unemployment rate of 5.5 percent is the second-best showing in Edinburg for that month since 2008, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The number of jobs in Edinburg is independently documented by the Texas Workforce Commission, a state agency with many key duties, such as maintaining and reporting on key trends in state and local economies, including unemployment rates and the number of people employed in cities. The unemployment rate is the number of persons unemployed, expressed as a percentage of the civilian labor force, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The civilian labor force is that portion of the population age 16 and older employed or unemployed. To be considered unemployed, a person has to be not working but willing and able to work and actively seeking work. For the past several years, Edinburg has registered the lowest or second-lowest monthly unemployment rate among all Valley cities. Edinburg’s September 2017 unemployment rate of 5.5 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including August 2017 (6.2 percent), July (5.7 percent), June 2017 (5.9), May 2017 (5.4 percent), April 2017 (5.4 percent), March 2017 (6 percent), February 2017 (6.4 percent) and January 2017 (6.2 percent). The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García are not related.

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Edinburg EDC: Edinburg Chamber of Commerce honored for vital roles it plays in promoting economic growth, prosperity in local community

Featured, on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at Edinburg City Council as part of Texas Chamber of Commerce Week for October 16-20, 2017, are, from left, front row: Ronnie Larralde, Director of Marketing & Special Events, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Lee Castro, Funeral Director, Legacy Funeral Home and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Verónica Gonzáles, Vice President for Governmental Affairs, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Alex Ríos, District Office Director, Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and Chairman, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; and Jacob De León, Funeral Director, Memorial Funeral Home, and Immediate Past Chairman, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. Back row, from left: Councilmember David Torres; Councilmember Richard Molina; Mayor Richard García; Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt; and Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr.

Photograph By IMELDA RODRÍGUEZ

Featured, promoting the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce’s Public Affairs Luncheon, set for Monday, October 30, 2017, which will showcase U.S. Congressman Vicente González, are, seated from left: Verónica Gonzáles, Vice President for Governmental Affairs, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley; Elva Jackson Garza, Vice President | Marketing Manager, Edwards Abstract and Title Co.; and Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. Standing, from left, are: Amy Cantú, Senior Vice President | Commercial Loan Officer, PlainsCapital Bank; Michael Williamson, PlainsCapital Bank- Market President;, Byron Jay Lewis, President & C.E.O., Edwards Abstract and Title Co.; Cris M. Torres, Vice President | Loan Officer, Greater State Bank; and Mario Lizcano, Administrator of Corporate Affairs, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance. The Edinburg Chamber of Commerce will welcome Congressman Vicente González, who represents the 15th Congressional District in Texas – which features Edinburg as the largest population center – as the guest speaker during the quarterly Public Affairs Luncheon, which will be held  from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance, 118 Paseo Del Prado. Tickets may be purchased for $20 each, or a reserved table of eight for $200 for the Public Affairs Luncheon by contacting the Edinburg Chamber office at 956/383-4974 or membership@edinburg.com . For more information please call the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce or visit the website at http://www.edinburg.com.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

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Edinburg EDC: Thousands who attended 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg at H-E-B Park saw first-hand why the community is becoming a “Destination City”

Featured, some of the members of the winning teams, judges, and community leaders who participated in the 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg competition held on Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2, 2017 at H-E-B Park in Edinburg. The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, was a major financial sponsor of the event, which draws hundreds of visitors to Edinburg. Front row, from left: Proudly sporting their  team red outfits are Myranda Johnson with Road Crew BBQ, Lauria Franklin Kelley with Road Crew BBQ; Gary Kelley with Road Crew BBQ; and Ross Kelley with Road Crew BBQ, whose team from Sinton, Texas was the Texas Cook ‘Em Overall Champion for 2017; and Jerry Cárdenas with Loaded Smoke of Raymondville, the Reserve Grand Champion for the International Barbeque Cookers Association (IBCA); Michelle Dang, Judge with the Steak Cookoff Association (SCA); and Fred Robles with Rio Valley Meat of Weslaco, Grand Champion of the International Barbeque Cookers Association (IBCA). Featured, middle row, from left: Marty Martin with Rio Valley Realty and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; J.J. Flores with Chorizo of San Manuel and Member, Board of Directors, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Ashley Tapia, Assistant, International Barbeque Cookers Association; Judy Tapia, Assistant, International Barbeque Cookers Association; Eddie Tapia, Head Judge, International Barbeque Cookers Association; Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Ronnie Larralde, Director of Marketing and Special Events, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Stephanie O. Larralde with The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Ambassador, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Michelle Gallaway, Judge, Steak Cookoff Association; and Sara Treviño, Secretary, International Barbeque Cookers Association. Featured, back row, from left: Martín Rivas, Director of Membership, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Imelda Rodríguez, Director of Tourism, Edinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau; Brett Gallaway, Judge, Steak Cookoff Association; Roddy Treviño with Roadster BBQ and 1st Place Winner in the H-E-B Steak Challenge; and Jake Barrera, Judge, International Barbeque Cookers Association.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE
 

Featured: Joe González, Manager, H-E-B Rio Grande Valley Meat Market, provides expert advice to help contestants select rib-eye steaks for the premier portion of the 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg, held at H-E-B Park in Edinburg on Saturday, July 2, 2017. The steak selection was a process by which the teams chose their meat for the day-long competition, which drew 127 teams from Edinburg, the Valley, Texas and beyond. Initially done by a lottery, the teams then lined up in numerical order based on that lottery and picked their steaks. The Steak Cookoff Association (SCA) is the sanctioning body for the steak portion of Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg. The SCA requires the event to provide the same high-quality steaks for equal competitive opportunities for all the teams.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE
 

Featured, Mike Eli, vocals/guitar for the Eli Young Band, performs as part of the final featured act on Friday, July 1, 2017 during the two-day 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks at Edinburg, held at H-E-B Park in Edinburg. An estimated 2,000 people bought tickets to that evening’s concert, which included two of Edinburg’s own talented musical performers – Matt and the Herdsman (http://www.mattandtheherdsmen.com), and Southern Ashes (https://www.facebook.com/SouthernAshesMusic/). The turnout for the concert that evening does not include people at the adjacent Edinburg Municipal Park who showed up to see the fireworks display during the concert. The following day, on Saturday, July 2, 2017, an estimated 3,000 people bought tickets to see the the world-class barbecue competition, as well as to enjoy many other activities going on that day, including another concert. 

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

Featured: Hundreds of fans of Los Lonely Boys cheer for the San Angelo-based “Texican Rock n’ Roll” band, which combines elements of rock and roll, Texas blues, brown-eyed soul, country and Tejano, on Friday, July 1, 2017 at the amphitheater of H-E-B Park in Edinburg. Los Lonely Boys were one of two national acts which performed on the first evening of the two-day 12th Annual Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg. H-E-B Park opened earlier in 2017. H-E-B Park is described on its web site as “the premiere sports and entertainment destination and focal point for the entire community. H-E-B Park serves as a community hub of outdoor space for active and recreational use including sports, live music, and corporate events.” H-E-B Park, which is privately owned and which is located at 1616 S. Raul Longoria Road, boasts a $16.8+ million, 9,735-seat professional soccer stadium as part of the 37-acre site with all amenities, an amphitheater with a capacity of 2,000 people, well-lighted parking, and security and medical personnel for major gatherings. The building permit issued for H-E-B Park represents the initial investment for the stadium, at that time valued at $16.8+ million, but the total financial worth of H-E-B Park, which is the name of the stadium and the fairgrounds with all improvements and assets, now that this outdoor sports and entertainment complex is open, is much higher.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

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UTRGV’s Dr. Lydia López Aguilera gains highest standard of certification for pharmacists

Dr. Lydia López Aguilera, Director of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley/UT Austin College of Pharmacy and Clinical Associate Professor in the UTRGV Cooperative Pharmacy Program, has added another level of expertise to an impressive list of accomplishments by achieving board certification in ambulatory care pharmacy from the National Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). Aguilera is a native of Edinburg.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Visitors to Dr. Lydia López Aguilera’s office are greeted by a wall full of framed educational accomplishments, recognitions of her achievements and thankful notes from her pharmacy students at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Now, at age 60, the director of the UTRGV/UT Austin Cooperative Pharmacy Program has added another level of expertise in her field by achieving board certification in ambulatory care pharmacy from the National Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS). “Gaining the certification builds your foundation of knowledge. It’s a review, but you also learn new things – and knowledge is power – allowing you to not only help your patient, but also your team of doctors, nurses, dieticians and other healthcare team members,” said Aguilera, a Clinical Associate professor who has headed UTRGV’s cooperative program since 2010. The announcement of her latest achievement was made on Thursday, August 31, 2017. Board certification through the BPS is recognized as the highest standard for determining which pharmacists are qualified to contribute at advanced levels of practice.

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Edinburg EDC: Bob’s Steak & Chop House, a world-class establishment, is the latest addition to Edinburg’s prestige as a destination city

Featured, front row, representing Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg, the Edinburg City Council, and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, include, from left: City Councilmember Homer Jasso; Juan Luis Mussenden, General Manager, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg; Peter Higgins, Managing Partner, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg; Gus García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation (immediately behind Peter Higgins); Mayor Richard García, who also serves as President, Board of Directors, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; and City Councilmember Richard Molina. These leaders were among the several hundred area residents who participated in the Wednesday, July 19, 2017 ribbon-cutting of the five-star, multi-million dollar restaurant, located at the Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley. The restaurant is just off U.S. Expressway 281 in the heart of Edinburg. Bob’s combines a lively atmosphere, fine wines and large cuts of the finest prime steaks, chops and seafood to make Bob’s the best steak house in any town. Known for their prime filets, Bob’s only serves prime beef, hand-selected from the top two percent of all beef, perfectly trimmed and expertly grilled. Bob’s also offers delicious sides and desserts made from scratch, and included with every steak, their famous pickles, choice of potato and signature big glazed carrot. Letty González, President of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, shared community leaders enthusiasm for Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg. “We are excited to welcome our new member to Edinburg,” said González. “Bob’s is a beautiful and unique dining experience that will be unparalleled in our area. This is just an indication of all the great things going on in Edinburg.”

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

Featured, from left: Gus García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, congratulates Peter Higgins, Managing Partner, Bob’s Steak and Chop House in Edinburg, following the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the restaurant, which took place on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. “Edinburg’s restaurants are fantastic, and they serve phenomenal food, great meals, you name it. Now, having an elite restaurant like Bob’s Steak & Chop House changes the image for the entire South Texas region. This is the first nationally-recognized five-star restaurant in Edinburg and deep South Texas,” said García. “Bob’s has a nationally known reputation. By doing well in Edinburg, it will once again prove that our region can support, and deserves, the very best life has to offer.” Higgins heaped praise on deep South Texas. “People have asked me several times recently, ‘Why Edinburg, Texas?’ Well, I’ll tell you why. It is a tremendous growth environment,” Higgins said. “If you look at the city itself with its growth, a new Hidalgo County Courthouse that will be built, several world-class hotels, a nationally-ranked university with a School of Medicine, and the Bert Ogden Arena and H-E-B Park near our site – well, the list goes on and on.”

Featured, from left: Jaime Cazares, District Sales Manager, Ben E. Keith Foods; Debra Stolley; Roger Stolley, NAI Rio Grande Valley (Commercial Real Estate Services Worldwide); Byron Jay Lewis, President and CEO, Edwards Abstract and Title Co., and Peter Higgins, Managing Partner, Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg, seated inside the Lenox Lounge in the multi-million dollar five-star restaurant, located at 591 East Trenton Road in Edinburg, at the Shoppes at Rio Grande Valley. The Lenox Lounge, part of the approximately 9,000-square-foot facility, is named in honor of William “Bill” W. Lenox, former president of the Bob’s Steak & Chop House national chain of fine dining establishments. Lenox, who died on Friday, January 20, 2016, was the key player in bringing the restaurant to Edinburg. According to his obituary, published in the Dallas Morning News, “Lenox, known for his entrepreneurial success, generous spirit and engaging character, passed away after suffering a heart attack at his home in Vail, Colorado. He was 70.” (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dallasmorningnews/obituary.aspx?pid=183988366)

Photograph By MARCO DAVID SOLIS

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